New Teen Titans Co-Creator And Renowned Comic Book Artist George Pérez Has Died

Comic creator George Pérez, widely considered a legend for his character-defining work at Marvel and DC, has passed away at the age of 67.

Following his retirement in 2019 due to failing eyesight and other health issues, the iconic artist and writer known for such titles as "The New Teen Titans," "Infinity Gauntlet," and "Crisis On Infinite Earths" revealed in December 2021 that he was diagnosed with inoperable stage 3 pancreatic cancer, and opted out of any sort of radiation therapy or chemotherapy because of a low chance of success in his case. Instead, Pérez spent his final months surrounded by the love of his family and friends, receiving the much-deserved flowers for his incredible work, and just absolutely loving comics and comic fans.

Pérez family friend Constance Eza shared the devastating news via Twitter on this year's Free Comic Book Day, a holiday that the incomparable creator "absolutely loved and a fitting day to remember his contributions to comics and to our lives." It was also announced that a memorial service would be held on Sunday, May 22, 2022 at 6:00pm at MegaCon in Orlando in his honor.


/Film readers may not know George Pérez by name, but if you're a fan of superhero movies and TV shows, you've definitely felt his influence. For starters, he and writer Marv Wolfman redefined the Teen Titans in 1980. The duo kept established members Robin, Wonder Girl, and Kid Flash, rebranded Beast Boy as Changeling, and created new members Cyborg, Raven, and Starfire to round out the roster. Eventually, they would also be responsible for Dick Grayson's transformation from Robin into Nightwing.

The characters and storylines found in Wolfman and Pérez's run would serve as the foundation for fan favorite cartoons "Teen Titans," "Teen Titans GO!," and "Young Justice" before they made the jump to live-action. These characters would also appear in HBO Max shows "Titans" and "Doom Patrol." And in Cyborg's case, he would even star in "Justice League," with plans to spin off into his own feature film.

Not only are Pérez and Wolfman credited with the creation of these heroes, they also brought some of their biggest villains to life. One of the most notable has to be Deathstroke, who has gone on to appear in a number of DC Universe adaptations such as The CW's flagship Arrowverse series "Arrow" and "Zack Snyder's Justice League," played by Manu Bennett and Joe Manganiello, respectively.

But arguably one of the greatest contributions to DC lore by Wolfman and Pérez was DC's 50th anniversary crossover event "Crisis On Infinite Earths." This 12-issue limited series completely restructured the DC Universe from a multiverse to a single, unified continuity. This story of heroes from different worlds coming together to save as many people as they could (while failing in a shockingly high amount of cases for the time) would serve as the base for the Arrowverse crossover on The CW that would span "Arrow," "The Flash," "Supergirl," "Legends of Tomorrow," and "Batwoman."


While his work at DC would be enough to cement an illustrious career, George Pérez also prospered at Marvel Comics as well. Early in his time at the House of Ideas, he co-created the publisher's first Puerto Rican superhero, White Tiger, alongside Bill Mantlo for "Deadly Hands of Kung Fu." The White Tiger mantle would be passed on from hero to hero throughout the years. Most recently, Ava Ayala has taken up the mask and has appeared in the "Ultimate Spider-Man" animated series as part of Nick Fury's team of young heroes that also includes Spider-Man, Iron Fist, Power Man, and Nova.

In addition to working on other titles featuring heroes like the Inhumans, the Fantastic Four, and the Avengers, Pérez is also credited with creating the villainous Taskmaster with David Michelinie. The deadly assassin with the ability to mimic any fighting style has appeared in a number of animated films and TV shows, and recently made their Marvel Cinematic Universe debut in "Black Widow."

However, when it comes to the MCU, Pérez's biggest contribution was his work on "Infinity Gauntlet" with Jim Starlin. He provided the artwork for this six-issue series along with Ron Lim to tell the story that depicts Thanos' nihilistic quest to attain all the Infinity Stones. Of course, this serves as the underlying storyline of the first three phases of the MCU, which culminated in "Avengers: Infinity War" and "Avengers: Endgame."


With massive crossovers being a huge part of his career, George Pérez was also involved in possibly the biggest crossover in comic book history: a team up between the Avengers and the Justice League. Published from 2003 to 2004, "JLA/Avengers" (or "Avengers/JLA" for the even numbered issues) was originally set to debut in 1983. Pérez had about 21 pages penciled for this epic tale at the time, but editorial disputes kept the book from coming to fruition at that time. Thankfully, both offices were able to settle their differences and finally come together later on with Kurt Busiek as the writer and Pérez returning as the artist.

Presented as a game between DC's Krona and Marvel's Grandmaster, the two super teams are the pawns in Krona's search for the truth about creation. Unfortunately, this mission is one that has left universes destroyed in Krona's wake. So in this game, if Krona wins with the Avengers in his corner, Grandmaster will bring him to Galactus — a being that has a very close relationship with creation (and destruction). But if he loses against the Justice League, Krona will spare the Marvel Universe. That means, in order to win, the Avengers must lose.

"Avengers/JLA" is a seminal work so tied to his career that Marvel and DC agreed to reprint the rare book after decades of being out of print to help Pérez and his family with medical expenses. This came together with the help of The Hero Initiative, a charitable organization very near and dear to Pérez that helps comic creators in need.

Gods and mortals

With such a large body of work that has influenced so much of superhero media today, there's so much one could draw from when memorializing George Pérez. But in his celebrated run on "Wonder Woman" from 1987 that redefined the titular heroine and eventually inspired Patty Jenkins' 2017 film, he established a deeper connection between the DC hero and Greek mythology. That's where this quote on death comes from.

"Fear not, child, for thou dost not face an enemy. I am Hades– most inevitable of the Gods. Only those who have wasted life need fear me — for the Underworld holds no terror for the innocent, wise, and brave."

As an avid convention goer, I always saw Pérez holding court in Artist Alley. He was a fixture of the con circuit, always looming and often smiling. His line was typically a mile long and it was filled with enthusiastic fans that he always took great care when interacting with them. Some might say it was brave of him to engage with his incredible fan base as often as he did.

Pérez also approached his love of comics with the innocence of a child. Though he's regarded as one of the greatest comic book professionals of all time, it was clear that he loved comics and everything and everyone involved with them.

And with wise words like those from his "Wonder Woman" tales and beyond, his unforgettable artwork from all over the comic book industry, and the cherished memories he leaves behind, I know that the death holds no terror for the life and career of George Pérez since it was far from wasted.

We here at /Film extend our deepest condolences to the family and loved ones of George Pérez. He will be greatly missed, but his influence will stay with us as long as there are superheroes.